How Much Do I Charge?

Inevitably, as I am working with business people the question comes up, “How much do I charge?” and remarkably the truth is, most businesses do not operate at an effective enough margin to achieve much more than a working wage, when entrepreneurialism should reward the savvy businessperson with an abundant lifestyle, not just a job.

In fact, if you’re an entrepreneur and your working for a living (basically trading hours for cash) you’re not doing it right. Although, if that is the lifestyle you want to live, then Bravo, more power to you. No judgment, here. Everyone gets to choose their own path and if that’s what you want, then, “Good for you.”

I attract business people to my practice who are intent on inviting more abundance into their life while offering products or services at a reasonable price. More often than not, what they think is reasonable is well below their potential. Much of this is due to fear. Fear of being competitive, fear of charging too much, fear of pricing yourself out of business, fear of loss, fear of change, fear of failure and most of all fear of yourself, your own worthiness to achieve your highest and best and reaching high levels of excellence.

When someone asks me for input on how much they should charge, just the asking of the question, “how much do I charge?” is a clear indication that they are charging too little. I’m serious. If someone asks me about their price point, I can guarantee that they’re probably generating half of the revenue they should be bringing in – minimum – and should be considering a plan to increase their business ten-fold.

Of course, making the leap to ten times your business revenue is likely going to take a more strategic approach than simply charging ten-times more for the same product or service that you’re offering today. No, you’re going to have to raise the value of your product of service ten times (or more) to reasonably achieve that feat.

The first fallacy in business is to assume that you can sell your product for a lower price and this will create competition for others in a similar business. If you choose this path, you are assuming that you can achieve higher volume sales while operating on a lower margin than your competitors.

In most cases (though not all) businesses who compete strictly in the low-pricing space are unable to compete long-term, and are less likely to break-through to the massive success they envisioned at the outset. When you’re operating on a tight margin, one wrong step could put you out of business. Without deep pockets, you may not be able to manage a misstep. On the other hand, if you are extremely well-funded, you may be able to weather the storm and achieve market domination (though this is very rare).

The Excellence Marketplace

You are far better off positioning yourself in the excellence marketplace, where high end products and services are offered to an exclusive clientele. Operating in the excellence marketplace, you are able to weather the storms that you may encounter along the way, and you are grateful for the lesser-priced providers of similar products or services for offering something of value to those who cannot afford your services.

If you encounter a potential client who is looking for a bargain price for you, your products and/or services, you can refer them to another provider who is better suited for their price point and expectations. You, your product or service is not for everyone (and if you tell me it is, we have a long way to go).

Let’s say you need to buy a new car, so you go shopping for the car you want and saunter into your local Mercedes dealership and select a C-300, an affordable entry level Benz. You love it and challenge the sales manager with your ability to get a Chevy Spark for a much lower price. (I will allow your common sense to follow this scenario to its logical conclusion.)

In any marketplace it is up to you to decide where you will position yourself in your industry. You can take the hard road and play in the excellence marketplace, or you can take the low-priced road in hopes that you might be able to survive in the long-run.

This is a decision that only you can make, and if it’s not too late, there is time for you to make adjustments and find the right marketplace for you to enjoy your future and all the best things this life has waiting for you; your reward for answering the call, whatever it may be.

Time to Do Your Own Thing?

Ever feel like just another meaningless face in the maze, just like everyone else in the rat race? Just scurrying around among all the other vermin for whatever reason, with only a brief memory of the inspiring ideal of there being cheese?

Some mazes are better than others, and if you’re lucky to be in a good one, you’ll go to college to earn a ticket you can use to ride the good job bus so you can rack up some retirement and if you’re lucky enough to be one of the five percent in this maze, at some point you can take a break, relax and enjoy the good

The vast majority of those on the college educated, hard working class – yes, ninety-five percent of them – struggle when forced to retire, dependent on social security, family and government subsidies to have any hope of surviving advanced age.

If you’re not one of the 180 million people who win the lottery, you might consider subsidizing your income with a life of crime and enjoy having a place to live out your years with cable TV, surrounded by plenty of friends and not having to worry about paying bills or wondering where your next meal is coming from.

Is it time to do your own thing?
Is it time to do your own thing?

This starts getting real as you age. When you are still young it doesn’t matter much, you believe all the hype about being a productive piece of the machine and have faith there will be something there for you in the future.

There is a small percentage of the population that figures this out early in life and look for ways to take responsibility for their own survival seeking to create something on their own, without having to depend on an employer. About seven percent of us seek some form of self-employment (about seven percent) and of those about half of them are employers who put other employees to work.

The other half are considered mom and pop enterprises, who are just trying to eek out a living the best way they can.

Between the ages of 45 and 64, Americans increasingly seek out ways to subsidize their income, most of them starting a business of their own. As the age of 65 hits, fourteen percent of women and twenty-two percent of men are self employed.

If you’re not one of the 5 out of 100 educated hard-working employees lucky enough to be working with a good company or organization with good retirement packages, then chances are you are starting to look around wondering what you are going to do.

Your fear is the only thing holding you back as you question your own worthiness and talking yourself out of taking full responsibility for your financial future with negative self-talk, such as,

“I’m not educated enough.”

Lots of people, just like you, have launched successful careers and businesses with little or no education and you might be surprised how many of the most wealthy individuals barely have a high school education, no college or dropped out of college.

“I don’t have time.”

Everyone has time to do the things that are important to them. You can see in our youth we have no time for seriously considering any form of entrepreneurship, but as retirement age closes in more and more of us are making the time to get serious about staring something new.

“I don’t have the startup capital.”

Fortunately, nowadays, you can start something with very little overhead or initial cash outlay thanks to the Internet and modern communications technology. You can use these to your advantage and start your business with very little money and no need to have the expense of a brick and mortar enterprise.

“I don’t have a marketable product, skill or service.”

Everyone who comes to this planet has their own inherit skills and abilities. There is something (probably many things) that you are able to do that many other people cannot. This is way our natural system was designed. We all are designed to help each other. You can start doing your part today.

“Someone is already doing it and I can’t compete.”

Really? As a consumer, you know that’s not true. We all like to have choices. We’re not too crazy about the idea of only having one restaurant, gas station, cell phone provider or brand of laundry detergent to choose from. Think of it more as encouraging freedom of choice instead of competition.

“I tried and failed. I just can’t do it.”

If you’ve tried doing something on your own unsuccessfully: Bravo!

Don’t quit. You are 95 percent more qualified to start up a successful business after having at least one failure under your belt, as rarely does anyone start a successful business the first go round.

What’s holding you back?

Fear of Loss

In life, personal and professional, business and in investments, being afraid to take risk will more often than not hinder your rate of return.

fear of loss investing safe investing conscious investing parable of the talents

I’ve participated in businesses partnerships and organizations that adhered to specific cues, circumstances and cues in their investments so as to reduce the risk of potential loss. This I refer to as the

IF, THEN, ELSE subroutine

It goes something, like this:

We agree to participate in this particular venture with minimal investment and effort. IF there are particular signs that a reasonable profit may be earned, THEN we will have a meeting to see if the signs warrant a further investment of attention and/or cash. ELSE we cut continue to monitor looking for other clues.

There can be many checks and balances running in separate IF, THEN, ELSE subroutines, endlessly cascading to prevent potential loss.

Under these conditions acceptable gains may be realized and losses can be minimized. The people who participate in arrangements, like this, are quite satisfied with mediocre returns on their investments and may be comfort to falling back on settling for a few points of return in a bank savings account, while they wait for their next safe investment opportunity.

While I have joined others in IF, THEN, ELSE agreements, “safe investing” is not my preference (off camera, I might refer to this as, “chicken shit investing”).

In my endeavors, I prefer an ALL IN approach, where I love the project with all my heart, am passionate, proactive, have a high degree of responsibility of success or failure and go full-steam ahead to create an excellent result. This is why entrepreneurship suites me well.
This requires a high degree of self-confidence and does not appeal much to the safe investor. The idea of risking everything for a potential unknown outcome is fraught with fear of danger.

Of course, courageous investing without proper due diligence is folly. That is why I prefer a more conscious approach before going ALL IN on any potential project. For instance, I must love the endeavor, be passionate about it and the project at hand must be in-line with the theme of my life’s journey. So these are some of the questions I might ask before going ALL IN:

  • Is there an opportunity to achieve long-term success?
  • Are there associated activities that will bring me a sense of fulfillment and joy?
  • Can I perform necessary tasks while maintaining a vibratory state of love?
  • While engaged, can I help others achieve their highest and best?
  • Can this project help to make the world a better place?

Of course everyone would have their own independent set of questions to review prior to engaging in a potential project, so yours would more adequately represent your specific life-theme and/or goals.

CONSCIOUS INVESTING takes a great many things into account before making the leap but does take self-confidence and the ability to overcome fear.

The powers managing the United States and our world promote a state of fear because fearful people are easy to manage (“protect”).

Unlike, Jesus, I’m not saying conscious investing is better than safe investing. In His parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) the investors who returned with a 100% rate of return were rewarded, while the safe investor was punished. I’m saying, “It is what it is,” and, “everyone’s doing the best they can with what they have,” without any judgment.

There’s no right way or wrong way, just different strokes for different folks.

Q: Can a safe investor become a conscious investor?

A: Yes, but the work starts within, like all meaningful work. Start with the heart, build self-confidence and overcome fear, while learning, remaining mindful and moving steadily toward your goal.

Q: Is it necessary to become a conscious investor, if I’m not?

A: No. You are not broken. Nothing is wrong with you. You are perfect just the way you are, and you are loved.